Claire advises and acts for businesses, consumers and enforcers on consumer-related and regulatory issues in both civil and criminal proceedings and specialises in particular in food law and food hygiene law, product safety, advertising and labelling as well as borderline medicinal/cosmetic/food supplement products, and health and safety. Claire frequently advises high street name companies and importers on labelling of new products and advises and represents in respect of any confrontation with trading standards or other regulatory agencies. She has a particular interest in matters of statutory interpretation. She also is concerned with disputes about terms in consumer and supply chain contracts, and in product liability matters including product recalls and liability for defective services. She has been instructed in numerous other regulatory issues including unfair terms in consumer contracts, unfair commercial practices and consumer protection.
Claire is a committee member of the food law group and recently appointed general editor of Butterworths’ Law of Food and Drugs. With a legal background in general civil and commercial disputes, land law and criminal fraud, she adds to consumer and food law expertise a broad understanding of other areas.
Claire was accredited by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in June 2007 and is currently the honorary secretary of MTVM mediators. In addition to being an arbitrator and mediator, she is also a tenancy deposit dispute and consumer dispute adjudicator and an assessor under a mediation/arbitration scheme. She is a strong believer in the benefits and strengths of mediation as a means of empowering parties to resolve disputes and tries to support the parties to arrive at consensus in the mediations she undertakes. She advocates mediation as a practical resolution to conflict. She is a member of the Bar Council ADR committee and has been engaged in its programme of training mediation advocates.
Additionally, Claire is a first tier Tribunal Judge (Health and Social Care Chamber) and a member of the regulatory panel of the Association of Managing Agents and of NRCPD Complaints and Appeals Committee. In addition to the Food Law Group, Claire is a member of the Product Liability Forum and the Administrative Law Bar Association.
In addition to very many unreported matters relating to food contamination, labelling and food hygiene, Claire has appeared in the following reported cases (among others):
- Three Rivers District Council v. Chowdhury  EWHC 2683: the first food hygiene case considering the application of the words “food business operator”;
- Lewin v. Purity Soft Drinks  EWHC 3119 (Admin): whether certain information on a drinks bottle was a misleading trade description. This case concerned in part the inter-relation of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 and the Fruit Juices and Fruit Nectar Regulations 1977;
- London Borough of Barking and Dagenham v. David Jones : finding (before the Enterprise Act 2002) that a local authority was entitled to an injunction to restrain a breach of the criminal law;
- Asda Stores Ltd v. Birmingham City Council : Claire acted for Asda on a question whether it had given a misleading price indication under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and successfully appealed an adverse magistrates’ court decision where the court had concluded that a bereaved employee should have been removed from post against her wishes without raising that issue with the parties in the course of the proceedings;
- R v. Warwickshire CC, ex p. Johnson  AC 583 (HL): Claire, led by Fred Philpott, acted for Mr Johnson on the question whether a manager of a store had committed an offence of giving a misleading price indication including whether the expression “in the course of any business of his” could extend to an employee.
Non-regulatory cases include Wragg and others v. Surrey County Council (2008) NPC 12; (2008) HLR 30; Times, March 19, 2008; Copping v. Surrey County Council (2006) HLR 16; (2006) 10 EG 156 on the right of Council employees to buy their homes and other associated problems.
“She has a wealth of experience to draw upon” Legal 500, 2015
“Her great strength is her exceptional knowledge of the law. She is one to go to for advice particularly if you have an unusual issue to deal with” Chambers and Partners Directory, 2014
“the ‘brilliant’ Claire Andrews brings many years’ experience to the table” Legal 500, 2014
- The Enforcement of Regulatory Offences (Sweet & Maxwell 1998)
- Atkin’s Court Forms, Consumer Protection Volume (previously also Landlord and Tenant and Housing)
- General Editor of Butterworths’ Law of Food and Drugs and commentator to the Food Law (standards) section
- Sometime commentator on regulatory statutes for Current Law
- A new book on the Enforcement of Consumer Rights and Protections, published by Lexis Nexis, is due in the Autumn.
- Claire is an intermittent food law blogger. She invites those interested in food law to contribute to her site ‘Food Law Conversations’. The website can be found at: www.foodlawbarrister.com
Claire accepts instructions by public access although she has not opted to qualify to undertake litigation.
VAT number: 446066056